Turkey's babysteps in nuclear power

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

"Cooperation and communication is necessary for nuclear energy and we wish to keep continue this process with international partners," says deputy energy minister.

ANKARA - Turkey is in the process of becoming a nuclear power as plans for two nuclear power stations in the next ten years are underway, Turkey's Deputy Energy Minister Murat Mercan has said.

The country's first nuke plant, Akkuyu, in the Mersin province on the Mediterranean coast is being built by Russian state company Rosatom. The second nuclear plant will be located in northern Turkey's Sinop province on the Black Sea coast and it will be built by a Japanese-French consortium.

Turkey is pressing forward with an ambitious nuclear program to meet 10 percent of its electricity by 2023 and reduce its dependence on imports of oil and gas to secure its energy supply.

Turkey intends to build a third nuclear power plant but its plans are dependent on the performance of the plants at Akkuyu and Sinop.

"Cooperation and communication is necessary for nuclear energy and we wish to keep continue this process with international partners," Mercan told Anadolu Agency Tuesday on the sidelines of a nuclear energy conference in Ankara, the Turkish capital.

Mercan said that price negotiations on electricity produced in the Akkuyu plant were ongoing and 50 percent of the electricity production would be priced at around 12 cents per kilowatt.

It is planned that 70 percent of the energy produced from the plant will be purchased by Turkey, according to the outline of the agreement. The aim is to reduce this to around 50 percent within 20 years.

Mercan said that more domestic producers would take part in the construction of nuke plants and he believed that the role of Turkish companies would increase as the new such plants develop.

- 600 students sent to Russia for training

Since 2012 Turkey has begun sending Turkish nuclear engineering students to Russia for training. They aim to send 600 in total.

He adds that the nuclear industry in Turkey has been developing with new employment opportunities along with sub-industries and regulatory institutions.

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